tags: , Press Releases

#33: Your Quick Summary Of the Week From America’s Voice

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The extreme anti-immigrant and anti-immigration policies of the Republican Party will be a campaign issue for Democrats in 2024. Donald Trump, Stephen Miller, the Heritage Foundation, and others are being loud and proud when it comes to their mass deportation plans for 2025. The week began with a prominent Washington Post article outlining the details and a report from the Niskanen Center on “the far right’s plan to demolish immigration in a second Trump term.” Other helpful stories and follow-ups have appeared in The AtlanticNew York TimesMSNBCMSNBC Maddow Blog, and Washington Post. At America’s Voice, we have focussed on the impact these proposals (or threats) will have on all Americans, going well beyond immigrant communities. “Make no mistake,” Executive Director Vanessa Cárdenas said in a statement, “a Trump second term would be devastating to all Americans because the Trump team’s obsession with purging the country of immigrants will ravage our economy, devastate law enforcement, and transform the very fabric of our nation in the process.” The statement was also released in Spanish. AV will continue to focus on the unpopular and extreme Trump policies while we are also focussing on recently released evidence that immigrants, including new arrivals, strengthen the U.S. economy, as they have always done. Read more here.


Pollsters and pundits continue to analyze the outcome of the special election in New York-03 to replace George Santos, a race won by Rep.-elect Tom Suozzi, the Democrat. On Friday, AV hosted a press briefing with prominent Dem pollsters Matt Barreto (BSP Research), Celinda Lake (Lake Research Partners), and Fernand Amandi (Bendixen & Amandi International), along with Democratic Strategist Maria Cardona (Dewey Square Group) and pro-immigrant advocates/experts Kerri Talbot (The Immigration Hub) and Cárdenas. Amandi said, among other things, that the race represented a monumental “tectonic political shift” on immigration because the Republicans blew whatever advantages they had on the issue by coming out against any bipartisan legislative solutions. Those on the call argued that the correct approach for Democrats would be to address immigration issues head-on and be clear about the need to combine border security with legal immigration pathways and legal status for immigrants that Republicans oppose. To be clear, many Democrats failed to see what happened or took the wrong lessons from the Suozzi victory. With the White House poised to announce potential punitive executive actions and other “Trump-lite” proposals being floated, AV has been shaping how reporters see the current state of immigration politics with analysis herehereherehere, and here, for example.


In a chilling escalation against faith-based organizations and volunteers who carry out their scriptural mandate to “welcome the stranger,” corrupt Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is seeking to shut down El Paso’s Annunciation House, a Catholic nonprofit shelter that has for decades been critical in aiding newly arrived migrants and asylum seekers who have already been processed and released by federal immigration officials. Paxton, without proof, claimed that respected organizations like Annunciation House are helping “facilitate astonishing horrors including human smuggling.” He’s now sued to revoke Annunciation House’s registration, a move that could end the group’s mission. AV joined elected officials and advocates from the state in condemning Paxton’s despicable attack on faith-based volunteers. “As an immigrant who was welcomed by El Paso more than 30 years ago, it’s heartbreaking, though not surprising, to see our state attack shelters that are simply seeking to welcome people with dignity,” said Mario Carrillo, Austin-based Campaigns Director. “We urge Democratic leadership and the Biden administration to condemn this targeting and attempt to criminalize this remarkable faith-based non-governmental organization’s public service and humanitarian response.” Read more here.


In her weekly column, America’s Voice consultant Maribel Hastings writes that Democrats should not shy away from the immigration issue, even if it is controversial. Being on the offense, not on the defense, can be a winning formula, as proven by the NY-03 special election, which Democrat Tom Suozzi won, despite all the controversy generated by the arrival of refugees in New York and elsewhere and the situation at the border. “While rumors circulate that President Joe Biden plans to issue executive orders to deal with the border, it’s good to reiterate to the White House and Democrats that embracing the Republican hardline playbook is neither the only nor the better option to speak to voters as we enter this electoral season.” Hastings concludes that “the solution for Biden and the Democrats is not to try to compete with Trump and his MAGA base to see who is the hardest on immigration. Whether they do this or not, the MAGA base will never support them. But adopting migration positions that alienate their traditional electoral base and undecided and centrist voters is also not the best electoral strategy. The Suozzi model of being on the offense, not on the defense, on immigration, could serve as a guide for the Democrats.” Her column was also published in several outlets, including La OpiniónRadio Bilingüe, and El Periódico USARead her column in English here and in Spanish here.


The deadly “invasion” and replacement conspiracies that non-whites are plotting to create a permanent electoral majority for Democrats are old lies that lurked on the margins and the dark corners of neo-Nazi websites until 2017, when bigots marched in the streets of Charlottesville and chanted, “You will not replace us, Jews will not replace us.” Then-President Trump gave these views a major boost. These once-fringe conspiracy theories are now an integral part of GOP speeches, political ads, and electoral campaigns. This trend has only sharply increased, even as this rhetoric has resulted in real-world dangers. AV tracking has newly identified nearly 700 instances of “invasion” and other nativist messaging from elected Republicans from August 2023 to December 2023. Racist discourse is now also common among today’s GOP, as noted in recent reporting. In just one example, House Republicans released language despicably calling for “deporting” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who is a naturalized U.S. citizen and the highest-ranking Latino official in the Biden administration. “It is hard to overstate the significance of the near complete adoption by the GOP and their activist base of viewing immigration & the border through the white nationalist replacement & invasion theory,” AV Political Director Zachary Mueller said. “This isn’t just about migrants or hate, its about justifying a racist authoritarian state.” Read more here.


Whatever the nativists claim, immigrants are – and have long been – essential to economic recoveries and growth. One recent reminder is a new Health and Human Services study finding a “nearly $124 billion positive fiscal impact of refugees and asylees on the American economy in a 15-year period.” Douglas Rivlin, Senior Director of Communication for AV, put it best: “To be pro-immigrant is to be pro-American. It is part of America’s recipe for success.” Click here to share our graphic recognizing the massive contributions of immigrants to the U.S. economy.


Spanish-language outlet Noticias Telemundo highlights the story of Edison, a migrant who stayed in a shelter after arriving in the U.S. and has since obtained a work permit to support himself and his family. Now based in New Jersey, Edison and his loved ones also have a place to live. Noticias Telemundo credits the vital role of local immigrant and faith-based organizations, which advocated for Edison and guided him toward self-sufficiency. When workers like Edison are given the tools to thrive, America thrives. One recent report found that within the first two years of their arrival, each 1,000 new immigrant workers are projected to earn $22 million in total aggregate wages, a direct economic benefit to the regions where they’ve settled. Welcoming the stranger is oftentimes a community effort, and migrants like Edison continue to show that they’re eager to give back. Watch the Spanish-language report from Noticias Telemundo here.

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